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  1. #1
    Son of LO Silver Wings's Avatar
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    Anti-mech Tau strategies.

    I did do a search, possibly not very well.

    I was in a tournament today and played 3 games, Winning big time against a 'Nid MC list and SM Raven Guard list.

    However I also played against Mech Tau. 3 Hammerheads, 3 'fishies with Firewarriors plus some Missile Pod Crisis suits.

    I got massacared. Escalation hurt and my rolling was attrocious but I was beaten from turn 2 when his army arrived.

    I use a Grenadier army, plus 6 Lascannon heavy weapons, 2 Russ and 2 Hellhounds.

    What do people recomend? Deep Strike perhaps melta/plasma thier rear armour? Infiltrate? I considered a Basalisk but he was within 36" so fast it would have been pointless. Rough Riders can't deal with 6 av12+ vehicle and neither can my sanity.

    If this is a repeat thread then sorry.

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  3. #2
    durus Diggums Hammer's Avatar
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    Mech Tau is definatly a hard nut to crack than regular Tau for Grenadier Lists.

    A couple of things to help:

    Fire Support Autocannon Squads. Autocannons are great vs Devilfish and good VS Tau in General, and that is what you need to kill them. I would have two squads in a Grenadier Army + 1 Lascannon Squad.

    Two Basilisks: Put one on each long table edge (assuming it is not a Cleanse mission), and you can reach the whole board.

    Don't take any other Tanks: I find they get popped fast by the Hammerheads. That or hide your tanks until your HWs have neutralized the Hammerheads.

    Cameoleline: A very worthwhile Doctrine against Tau.

    Three Veteran Squads with Lascannons or Autocannons: Infiltrate them into good lines of fire to pop HHs/DF.

    Use your Grenadiers for taking out Stealths, capturing objectives and mopping up transportless Firewarriors.

    Hope that helps.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Ylide's Avatar
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    My usual opponent plays Mech Tau. It's especially tough for us guard players to beat....we're at an inherent disadvantage because of their mobility, firepower, and skimmer rules. It's hard to take down vehicles that you can only glance, especially when they can reroll immobilizing hits, plus they get to fire main guns after a 12" move.

    Diggums' suggestions are great...autocannons are your friend when taking out transports. Deepstriking meltagun/plasmagun teams are good for working over hammerheads or broadsides. Cameleoline is very very useful in that you not only get a save against their guns, you get a good one.

    I still use my tanks against them, but I put my tanks into positions where he has to expose his hammerheads to get a clear shot. I've found that basilisks are not all that useful unless he has crisis suits on the table. You can pop vehicles with it if you are lucky on the scatter dice, but you still can only get glancing hits, wasting a potential ordnance penetrating hit.

    My best tactic, however, is to just play my Necrons when he uses his Tau.
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    Son of LO Silver Wings's Avatar
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    With 12" movement on everything wont any mech Tau be within 36" pretty fast neutralising them?

    I agree with you on the Tanks though. My Russ went down to a plasma shot to the side and the Demolisher took just 1 Railgun shot.

    Deep striking with Plasma or Melta? with submunitions everywhere the squads wont last.

    I know you support the use of Chimaera's for Stormies, but aginst Railguns...are you sure?
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  6. #5
    Dancing Peanuts? You bet! Robizzle's Avatar
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    I used to play against Mech Tau all the time. I'm sure you're aware of that seeing as it was your mech tau that I was playing, wings.

    If I look at it, I think you don't really have a very good army suited for taking on mech Tau. With that many railguns it seem your squads will go splat, and so will your tanks.

    Deep striking WOULD be a good idea, it's just risky. If you can deep strike a unit behind a hammerhead, then somehow be able to keep out of LoS from any other hammerheads, even when they can move, or give yourself cover. As to say, make it so only 1 fire lane is open to the hammerhead, and make sure a squad of lascannons can see the entire lane. Plus, I wouldn't be suprised if they have more pressing matters. Another good hint would be keeping your tanks behind cover until the stormies arrive, then you can pounce out, giving the 3 hammerheads about 6 targets. I know they're good, but they're not THAT good.

  7. #6
    LO Zealot Addoran's Avatar
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    Indeed, I myself feel (possibly controversial moment..) that Mech Tau exploit the same niche as Armoured Company. If you don't tweak your list to fight them, it's difficult (ok near impossible) to have enough anti-tank weapons to bring them down effectively.

    The usual suggestions apply, try swapping out your heavy bolters for autocannons and increasing your number of lascannons. Unfortunately the problem is that if you do so your no longer playing your tournament list. Time to decide which way you want to go.

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    Senior Member Ylide's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Mech Tau is a little unbalanced for general tournament play. That is precisely my opinion, that you have to slant your list against them to stay competitive, which hurts your overall army balance. It wouldn't be so bad if their skimmers couldn't all fire after 12", only be glanced, AND get to reroll immobilized results. You either need a metric crapload of anti-armor or you need some really lucky rolls on the glance table. Oh yeah, and they're all considered tanks, too, so after unloading all the fire warriors, you get to have half your squads take tank shock morale tests every turn. Skimmers shouldn't be allowed to tank shock.
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    Why not have a couple armoured fists (with lascannons) that stay stationary. That way, the lascannons get to shoot, as well as some lasguns AND whatever the chimera has. When it gets destroyed, you at least have some cover.

    An armoured fist squad with a lascannon in a chimera that has a Multi-Laser, and a hull HB costs 170 points. A 5-man veteran squad with a sergant, a lascannon and a similar chimera to the fist squad costs 145. That's 3 Str 6 shot, 1 str 9 shot, and 3 str 5 shots at BS4 or BS3, depending on your preference.

    If you're lucky, I estimate that your chimeras would stand for a couple of turns, and then you would have some lovely cover to deter tank shock.

    Maybe there's some way to set your stuff up so that it's difficult for their vehicles to use tank shock, or whatever. Oh! What about sentinels with Multi-lasers and hunterkiller missiles? 55 points (65 with a lascannon) able to take up positions, knock out tanks, and stop tank shock from happening. Each one down wouldn't be much of a loss, points-wise, and possibly not too much of a target. However, their value in limiting your opponent's movement would be rather high. Having a wall of three sentinels, 4" inches apart, means 12 inches + 3x(their base size) across that a tank cannot move through without destroying first. Plus your infantry (or chimeras, see above) can still shoot through the gaps.

    Possibly the key is to limit their movement, and wall them. Kind of like a game of football. I'll go play a few more games with my mech tau friend and then talk some more.

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    I like Strong's suggestion, and I use this myself as well.

    Throw 3+ autocannon/H-K or lascannon/H-K sentinels out there and pop off a lot of shots in your first round. I believe it is also a good idea to include an LR on such a list because your opponent will be forced to choose his targets. This is also a case where I'd put a H-K on everything that can mount one. It's worth the points premium to take as many shots as possible as fast as possible.

    You still need a lot of lascannons, preferably in line squads. ACs are nice, but they can't touch the front of a hammerhead. In Vet squads, you don't have the mobility to ensure a side or rear shot, so I'd give the Vets lascannons. Use these vs. the Hammerheads and the ACs/H-Ks vs. the Devilfish.

    Heavy Bolters are overrated in this situation.

    Basilisks are overrated vs. true Mech Tau. They're not so hot vs. vehicle armor, so all they're good for is popping suits.

    But don't forget that the Hammerheads are your biggest threat. They can chew up any unit the IG can field without breaking stride. They gotta go down as fast as possible.

    EDIT: Get smoke on all vehicles and don't hesitate to pop it early. It levels the glance playing field for a turn at least.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Ylide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Strong
    Why not have a couple armoured fists (with lascannons) that stay stationary. That way, the lascannons get to shoot, as well as some lasguns AND whatever the chimera has. When it gets destroyed, you at least have some cover.

    An armoured fist squad with a lascannon in a chimera that has a Multi-Laser, and a hull HB costs 170 points. A 5-man veteran squad with a sergant, a lascannon and a similar chimera to the fist squad costs 145. That's 3 Str 6 shot, 1 str 9 shot, and 3 str 5 shots at BS4 or BS3, depending on your preference.

    If you're lucky, I estimate that your chimeras would stand for a couple of turns, and then you would have some lovely cover to deter tank shock.

    Maybe there's some way to set your stuff up so that it's difficult for their vehicles to use tank shock, or whatever. Oh! What about sentinels with Multi-lasers and hunterkiller missiles? 55 points (65 with a lascannon) able to take up positions, knock out tanks, and stop tank shock from happening. Each one down wouldn't be much of a loss, points-wise, and possibly not too much of a target. However, their value in limiting your opponent's movement would be rather high. Having a wall of three sentinels, 4" inches apart, means 12 inches + 3x(their base size) across that a tank cannot move through without destroying first. Plus your infantry (or chimeras, see above) can still shoot through the gaps.

    Possibly the key is to limit their movement, and wall them. Kind of like a game of football. I'll go play a few more games with my mech tau friend and then talk some more.
    What you're suggesting is basically mechanizing one's IG list, which is of course a nice counter to an opponent's mechanized army. Most Tau lists don't have much of a problem with popping chimeras, though. I guess it depends on how many threats you can put in front of him at once.

    Also, you're forgetting that the Tau transports and tanks are skimmers...there's really no way to block a tank shock from a skimmer since they can cross over any obstacle you might put in front of them.
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